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Reviews For: Yaesu VX-8R

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : Yaesu VX-8R
Reviews: 73MSRP: ~$350.00
Tri-band hand held transceiver by Yaesu
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KE7TMA Rating: 2012-04-05
Good rugged radio but has a few quirks. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had this radio for a couple of years now. I bought it a few months after getting my license. If I were rating this radio solely upon its performance as an amateur band radio, it would be getting a 5.

My main issues include the "wide band" receiver, which is very poor in the HF bands. With a proper antenna adapter and a nice dipole, it is still useless on HF. I feel that they should work really hard on this, as Icom does a far better job with their wide band receivers in their handhelds. With this caveat, it is respectable above 30 MHz or so, and works respectably as a general purpose FM scanner / monitor for public safety, utility, etc. The stock battery is good for only a few hours of combined APRS / voice operation, as everybody says the big one gives much longer life (12+ hours even after a couple of years). The software, as on almost every other Japanese radio in existence, is terrible. This is a fact of life, and we should just accept it. Of course the manual is a must read with this bad boy. You would never get it into APRS operation even if you had a million years, without reading the manual. Memory management is somewhat painful as well.

The smaller battery can be paired up with a very small 440 antenna to drastically reduce the size of the unit. I have a Diamond brand antenna with a nice rubber ring around the bottom that mates well with the waterproof rubber collar around the antenna connector. The AA battery case is also a good option to have in an emergency, but even though it has a rubber cover, they state that it is not waterproof! I have used it in the rain without issue, but I would not want to take a dunk with it on the radio. That said, the two rechargeable batteries for the unit can both survive immersion without issue. This is a radio that I carry in the outdoors and it has been totally dunked on several occasions. It has also rode around strapped to the top of a vehicle in a rainstorm, while in operation using the handheld mike option. Fun times. Yeah, this radio's not perfect, but it's a hell of a thing. It's true that the barometric altimeter never agrees with the GPS, and that the temperature always reads "89 degrees" no matter what the conditions are, and yes it's quite fiddly if you plan on using the advanced features. It is built like a tank and it works, and despite the fiddly, menu-laden operation it does have a ton of neat features such as the channel counter.
WI2Q Rating: 2011-11-22
Best I've Had since 1970 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
First, I respect previous reviews and those who wrote them but I can't say I agree or understand all the negaive stuff... that said, the VX8R isn't perfect. However, I think its one of the best if not THE BEST since I've been a ham (1970). Just to clearify, I have been an HT collector since first licensed... Started it all with a Standard 146A crystal HT. Was great for its time as were many of the crystal ht's to follow... when I got my first synthasized ht (can't even remember what the model was... had small red led readouts) I was so happy I wouldn't be buying crystals any more...

There were bad ht's and good ht's
. Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, Wilson (we800 was cool) Tempo, and on and on. I've had em all. Wish I had all that cash I spent on them today.... anyway to the point..

In my humble opinion, I think the two best HT's out there now are the VX8 varity and the Kenwood THF6a. Both are great HT's. some difference in features.

The only bad thing abt the vx8r was the audio that is easily corrected by letting some air into the water tight case.... did that and now perfect. Don't really care about being under water with it... just some protection in the rain which it has.

Your milage obviously has and will vary.... just my thoughts. And BTW... the software is excellent too. Makes programming a breeze (similar to software for THF6A (Thanks RT Systems!)}.
KJ4UZG Rating: 2011-11-13
dual watching multiband powerhouse in your hand Time Owned: more than 12 months.
love the dual watch capability
love the easy to use menu system didnt need to read the manual too much and have quit using the programming software
only con is the loose battery that i had to put a spacer in and it works perfect now, note that yaesu told me to put it in and told me they would call me back but never did, customer support could be better but this ht is great overall very good audio reports and received audio is good as well, i quess some people around here received lemons
WA0ZZG Rating: 2011-09-29
Too Many Blades Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
It looks like Yaesu tried to build a hand-held verson of a Swiss Army Knife. Unfortunately this knife may just have too many blades. I purchased one that was a dealer's shelf demo unit. Considered it to just have had additional testing time. Still had some quirks. Ended up doing a master reset to clear them all. Most everything this radio does is done in software. This makes the setup very critical. It is possible to get this radio's setup so twisted that nothing will work right. Don't expect great performance from the antenna. It has to cover too many bands. It works equally poorly on all of them, but it does work all of them. FM stereo does sound good over a pair of headphones, but the headphone connector is too well protected and the plug had to be modified to fit in. The internal charge system is smart and the standard charger is regulated, but there's a mechanical switch built into the charge connector to disconnect the battery from the radio and into the charge system. The radio only runs from the supply when plugged in. This switch can go bad and not connect the battery back to the radio. The radio then only runs on external power. Hook the charger up gently. The audio isn't too bad for a speaker the size of a postage stamp. Waterproof is nice, but some radios are so well enclosed that the sound is bad. Put a small weep hole in to equalize are pressures. Otherwise, have fun, but don't try to use everything. You'll go nuts.
KC2TEL Rating: 2011-09-28
Poor quality radio Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
The radio just fell apart under normal use in less than a year. I think that "Yaesu" means crap in Jap. I will NOT purchase another Yaesu product.
KC2NTG Rating: 2011-08-28
very dissapointed Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had this ht for over a year. after warranty was up nothing but problems, such as will not work on battery power have 1.8 and 1.1 amp hour batterys both test good with respective voltage. af dual with respect to the three vfo's [it's not three vfo's those who have it know]. Have to turn it on twice to get audio in that mode. I have almost 600 into it with all the goodies and not all of them. This is one of the first one's serial# 9h180170. And what gets me is the fact now is they have a gr/dr why? I don't even want to get into that! Firmware/production issues? And if you think I will send it back slim chance of that, NOT! I would love to bash yaesu/junksu.The only reason I did not give it a big fat goose egg is it still works via direct dc via car plug with the same problems. no wonder it has a 3.9 as of this date. John
N4MJG Rating: 2011-06-08
UPDATE ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I had this HT since xmas it IS 2 years old now, i brought mikephone and gps works great. you do have read manual real good other wise you not under stand this HT ! to me it not that bad !

The audio well sound great to them, i have brought 1800 MAH battery for gps, if you still have 1100 MAH on GPS it will not work it will shut down if you running 1100 MAH please use 1800 MAH if you are going to use GPS !!!!!

KJ6AIW Rating: 2011-06-06
Dont waste your money on yaesu's over priced, shortlived HT's Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is an update to my previous review after having this radio for a while. I own 3 yaesu radios (vx8r ft897d and ft 2900), The vx8r in particular has given me nothing but TROUBLE, the fm broadcast receive died VERY early on in my ownership, and recently ALL audio out failed. The speaker, headphone jack, and speaker mic output failed as well. The receiver is pretty prone to intermod, but that is to be expected on some dual band handhelds. The mic audio is pretty hideous but I figured out if you open the headphone jack cover to allow some air pressure to move in and out of the case it improves audio. I have several other Ht's from kenwood to wouxun. Most of my gripe is a fact that a LOT of Yaesu owners know, Yaesu's repair policy SUCKS. They put radios out of production very regularly and refuse to service them after a while. I cannot get the vx8dr upgrade because it was offered for a very limited time only, and for the most part the service dept consists of techs who TEST for a problem, and board switchers, no component repairs. The radio is going to be repaired to factory specs and sold. It has been replaced by a Wouxun uvd3 because it actually sounds good and works ALL THE TIME, its $110, and the quality of build is Very comparable. I will NEVER buy another Yaesu product just because of their lousy customer care, and lack luster repair policy compared to the rest of the industry. Sorry Yaesu, you lost what was once a DIE HARD customer.
AJ4RW Rating: 2011-05-21
Still going strong Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is the second review I've written on the VX-8R. It hasn't given me anything but pleasure since I purchased it in February of 2009. I still use the original battery and it holds a charge very well. The APRS unit works exceptionally well also. Since moving to an antenna friendly rural area there aren't any repeaters within a 30 mile radius and just a couple of digipeaters around here, so my WX-8R is now for sale. It will be missed!
IZ0PXT Rating: 2011-03-27
Good HT Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I found the VX 8 very good like all the Yaesu HTn, is small, well built and with a lot of feautures, like most of the modern rig need time to read the manual and learn !
Optionals are good but expansive !

73 de IZ0PXT